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Arguments Against JSerra Are Off the Mark

October 12, 2003

Re "There Is No Real Need for JSerra High School," Sept. 14:

Let's set the record straight for Erin Kutnick and others who propagate disinformation in their campaign to stop JSerra High School in San Juan Capistrano.

The backers of JSerra were rebuffed by our former city manager, who believed the city had too many private schools. The backers used the ballot initiative to bring the issue to the people as well as the City Council, a legitimate process.

To say that I was bullied into accepting JSerra is an outright lie; I supported and led this effort from the start. Kutnick throws out the red herring of campaign contributions. This is a slimy way of saying council members are bought and paid for by anyone who legitimately contributes to political campaigns (unless, I guess, one votes Kutnick's way).

Every council member took a stand before the election supporting education, both public and private, except the dissenting council member, who supported specifically public education. Voters knew whom they voted for and why.

Kutnick next throws a single faction of the Juaneno Band of Mission Indians into her argument for stopping JSerra. No other faction of the Juaneno band supports this group. An extremely small number of reburials and existing burials occupy a small portion of the JSerra site and are protected by state law.

It is misleading of Kutnick and others to say that this land is now a sacred site. Putting this land on a list does not make it so; it is only the beginning of a state process to certify it.

JSerra High School is a convenient target of various political agendas, and it is important that facts prevail over propaganda in this continuing discourse.

David M. Swerdlin

Councilman

San Juan Capistrano

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